national Arts Festival Banner

Friday, March 11, 2016


(Nqobile Shezi, Bongani Molefe & Sibonelo Mchunu. Pic by Val Adamson)

As part of the 10th year anniversary for Mhayise Productions, award winning choreographer Musa Hlatshwayo will be on tour with his company's edutainment performance called Yin’iRespect?! under the Congress Incubation programme of ASSITEJ SA for 2016, funded by the National Arts Council of South Africa.

Yin’iRespect?! is an educational multidisciplinary dance-driven piece which is made up of street dance movement, can dance, chants, physical theatre and storytelling - all creatively moulded together through a script with scenes that form a participatory theatre piece about the notion of ‘Respect’.

This vibrant action-based and highly physical and musical dance theatre piece sees the performers take the audience on a fun-filled rhythmic exploration of how cans and crates can be used to create enchanting dance rhythms fused with vocal chants and street games while inviting the audience to think and speak-out about possible definitions of ‘respect’ in a home situation, in the community as well as in a learning environment.

With its use of choreographed dance and physical theatre accompanied by catchy multi-lingual call and respond chants and rhythmic game-like prose, silent dialogue and gestural physical theatre set a beautiful contrast and flow to experience as the piece builds to a forum theatre setting driven by provocative scenes that invite both the youth and the parents (learners and teachers) to contribute with their definitions of ‘respect’ in general and within the given scenes.

The use of the voice and body with its multi-dimensional abilities together with the crates and cans as the only props during performance makes this performance piece totally independent to technology as it can be performed indoors and outdoors, in conventional as well unconventional theatre spaces. This youth and family orientated theatre piece is guaranteed to be understood, responded to and appreciated by the audience members of any language and or abilities.

This performance piece creatively taps into the schools Life Orientation Studies, Creative Arts studies as well as language studies. The participatory nature of the performance also features facilitation sessions where the audience members are required to contribute in helping to (re)define what respect is. A workshop on creative rhythm in movement and chants will also form part of this tour as the audiences will get a chance to explore the basics of rhythmic dance while exchanging skills, knowledge, information, and notions of 'respect'.

This tour is scheduled to take part in two separate legs with the schools in the North of KwaZulu-Natal scheduled for March 14 to 18 and those in the South and the surrounding areas of EThekwini Municipality scheduled from April 5.

“We aim to reach a minimum of at least 15 schools and community spaces with a focus on the rural and peri-urban communities in and around KwaZulu-Natal,” explains Hlatshwayo. “The EThekwini Arts and Living Cultures Department has also joined forces with Mhayise Productions in deepening this campaign's impact to reach a wider selection of audiences, particularly those in marginalized semi-urban and rural areas as they will also help facilitate the means for the production to reach a far bigger pool of schools and communities. This forms part of their attempt to cater for the development of the youth through the arts and the development of the arts within our creative and youthful province.

Schools, youth development and community organizations are encouraged to make bookings for the company to visit their spaces through Pauline Dalais; the ASSITEJ SA’s KZN Theatre4Youth coordinator on 078 351 8718 or 031 825 4133 or email

The performance is about 30 minutes long and will last up to 45 minutes with facilitation included. Mhayise Productions proudly presents this tour under the incubation programme of ASSITEJ SA as supported by the National Arts Council of South Africa and EThekwini Arts and Living Cultures.